Thursday, August 27, 2015

Five Years

Yesterday this crazy kid turned 5 years old:

I haven't had time to do Grant's "5 year pictures"  yet, so
I'm re-using one of my favorites from his party day. 
So what is this little man up to at 5:

  • KINDERGARTNER! Crazy, right? So far, so good, though. He seems to be enjoying school and loves to tell us about his day so we're trying to enjoy that while it lasts.
  • At least 45" tall. I know this because my sister & took Grant to a water park last week and he was tall enough to go on some of the crazier water slides. He has his check up next week.
  • SO excited to be 5! I'm not sure why this year more than last year but he just couldn't wait to be 5.
  • Current obsessions: dinosaurs - the boy is crazy over dinosaurs; volcanoes - probably because he associates them with dinosaurs; solar system - not sure what started this but we've been reading some interesting stuff (also if you ask Grant what he knows about the solar system, you may hear "Jupiter has gas!"); cars, trucks, trains, planes, helicopters, and anything else that has an engine; Minions - they fart, 'nuff said.
  • What's on TV: Transformers, Jurassic Park, The Land Before Time, DinoTrux, Ninja Turtles, Paw Patrol, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Sofia the First, Night at the Museum, Lion King, Cars (and Cars 2).
  • Books! I love that this kid is a book lover. 9 time out of 10, if Grant is quiet, he's in his room thumbing through a book. For Easter he got a big book about dinosaurs so he looks through that often and most recently he's been requesting his book about sharks when we read at bed time (although the new book about the solar system he got from us yesterday may be taking the #1 spot for a while).
  • Music: Grant is alarmingly into country music. It started out kind of funny because he just loved to listen to Boxcar Willie in the truck with Husband. But then he really got into Eric Church and now Luke Brian is his favorite thing ever. Sometimes in my car I have to impose a "No Country Music Rule" where he has to listen to the Disney pandora station or sometimes he'll ask to listen to Trans Siberian Orchestra (he does actually like TSO). 
  • Very animated. Loves to act things out when telling stories.
  • Loves to build! Legos are everywhere in our house. Grant is always building something (and then crashing it and building it again).
  • Still loves board games and puzzles and recently got him into some card games (Go Fish and Crazy 8's). We have so much fun playing games together...and I don't even have to let him win.
  • Grant loves to be outside. In the sandbox, hitting baseballs, knocking around his kickball, doesn't matter. Most recently we've started going on long walks at the park. I love that he's at an age where we can take bigger walks together and explore places we couldn't go back when he needed a stroller. 
After having Grant's birthday party on Saturday, we had a small celebration yesterday just the three of us. Husband & I had lunch at school with Grant. He had requested Olive Garden for dinner so we did that and then went home to open a couple presents. I think he had a really good day and even told us at dinner "This has been the best birthday EVER!" 

I love that Grant is always looking forward. But as his Mama I can't help but look back at how he's grown into the awesome little man that I'm so proud of.

I'm aiming for this weekend to do some 5 year pictures. I promised a choice of ice cream or a snow cone for cooperation (I remember when it just used to be a lollipop). But I think Grant is looking a little forward to it too...I told him he could wear his "cowboy outfit" for a couple pictures.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Grant's 5th Birthday Party

This year for Grant's 5th birthday party, we had a splash party (or water party or whatever you want to call it). I filled the backyard with water-related items and let the kids go to town. It was a bit chaotic (to be expected, yes?) but I think the kids had fun. My sister was in town for the week and was a HUGE help getting the party ready!

There were approximately one million children in my backyard but these pictures kind of look like no one showed up. I left out pictures that included other children just in case the other parents don't want their kid plastered all over my blog.

We did some beachy decorations inside and pretty much let the water toys outside be the decorations for the yard (except for some pool noodle garland I made that was so fun!).

The banner I made for Grant's first birthday!

Fun little buckets for Grant's friends to take home
(my sister did a LOT of cooking and cleaning for me
so I could sew stuff for the kiddos - thanks sister!)
I didn't have any games or anything planned for the kids, just play time. I had a slip-n-slide, a sprinkler, some beach balls to play with, water guns, and water balloons. The water balloons lasted about 5 minutes - I should have seen that coming. The slip-n-slide had to be repositioned about 10 times but we eventually got it working great (especially after putting some soap on it!).

I have no idea how I managed to get a picture of just
Grant going on the slip-n-slide
Sitting in one of the water gun re-fill buckets
I love this beach ball sprinkler! And it's apparently quite sturdy.
The kids played for about an hour before we broke out the pinata. After going to a birthday party earlier this year that had a pinata, Grant really wanted to do one. He picked out a shark. 

So we filled it with his favorite candies...and those poor kids tried so hard to bust it open but in the end, we had to get Husband to knock it down. Which STILL didn't actually bust it. So he tore it open and dumped out the candy...ha!

We did presents and cake after the pinata.

He got a real pair of cowboy boots from Gramma
& Grandpa so he put on his hat to go with them
Telling an animated story of dragons blowing
fire after eating spicy tacos
Really not sure what this was about...maybe cake.
Cake. Grant wanted a shark cake (his favorite birthday activity is looking at cake pictures to figure out what he wants me to make) and he picked one that was supposed to have the shark standing up but that didn't happen. I think he loved it anyway.
3 layers of chocolate cake

Happy Birthday, Grant!
Would you believe he ate the cake this year?? We went from Grant wanting a cake, to Grant wanting ice cream sundaes, back to cake because he decided he loves cake  - which I didn't believe for a minute. I don't know how much he ate at the party, but we still have some leftovers and he's actually eating it. It only took 5 years :)

Grant put on a little show for us after his friends left:

(Currently, he's asking to be a country singer for Halloween)
And he kind of continued the party while we were cleaning up. We turned the slip-n-slide back on and Grant kept up the fun while we cleaned up the yard (and picked up what must have been thousands of pieces of balloon). 

Grant had such an awesome time! I'm so glad his friends could come play and celebrate with him!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

First Day of Kindergarten

I don't care how cliche it sounds, this day came way too fast! But look at that boy's face. So excited! 

On Friday - Grant's last day of preschool/day care - I would have told you I was expecting his first day of kindergarten to be bumpy. Because on Friday when Grant came home from his last day, he seemed fine...until I asked him to brush his teeth. He started crying, saying he couldn't do it. I knew something bigger was going on. So I asked if he was upset about leaving preschool. Oh man! He cried harder, begging to stay at his "old school". We got him calmed down and then had to head to the elementary school to meet Grant's new teacher. Quite a few kids from his preschool would be going to his elementary school...and we found out that not one was in his class. But he seemed to handle that well, knowing that he would still see them.

So yesterday morning, there was not an ounce of nervousness in this child. He was SO excited to go to kindergarten. He couldn't wait to wear his new backpack and carry his lunch bag. And he even sat still for some pictures :)

We decided to take Grant to school at the time school starts so we could walk him to his class (instead of using the before school program on his first day). He was so proud of himself walking into school.

We got to walk Grant to his class, get him settled and see his new classroom which we'd not had the opportunity to do yet. 

Putting his backpack & lunch away
Please forgive the blurriness of this picture...I was
barely holding on at this point
Already settled in and coloring!
I only cried a little! And I managed to not let Grant see me, I was worried that he would get nervous if he saw me upset. But I got myself together to say bye to him and he barely even noticed when we left. 

Last year & this year
Grant had a great first day, he was so excited telling us about it. We had read Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes the night before. He said he drew Pete the Cat in art class and when Husband asked him what else he did at school he said he was "rocking in my school shoes!" And when I kissed him good night and told him I was so glad he had a good first day, he said "And I'm going to do it again tomorrow!" which is at the end of the book. 

So far, so good!

Friday, July 31, 2015

High Five for Friday

Hi there! I'm linking up with Jennie today to share some fun stuff from the past week.

1) Saturday was the third swimming lesson so we're half way through. I sort of don't feel like he's getting as much out of it as I'd hoped but I'm trying to stay positive about it.

2) After swimming lessons we decided to run some errands for school stuff and had a really great evening. After some clothes shopping, we had dinner at a re-vamped shopping center which was near their new play ground so Grant got to play a bit after dinner. We wandered around for a little bit after play time, found a cupcake shop and got some yummy dessert to go. It was a pretty great Saturday!
Dinner at Red Hot & Blue
Followed by the playground
Then some heavily frosted - and delicious - cupcakes
from Gigi's for dessert.
3) I've been neglecting exercise lately. The only time I really have available to go is in the mornings and that is soooo hard to do. But Sunday morning I decided to get up and go and it was such an awesome morning! (Too bad I haven't been able to motivate myself any other morning this week.)

4) There's been some backyard baseball this week in the evenings at our house and we're having so much fun with it! Somehow, I've become the pitcher and I'm pretty terrible at it but Grant has no idea...for now.

5) Monday was Grant's kindergarten assessment. I had to drop him off at his new school for a couple hours and then this afternoon we find out who his teacher will be ON MONDAY. Seriously? Kindergarten on Monday. I'm going to get through this, right?

I had promised snow cones after the assessment, Grant
went with the dinosaur flavor.
6) Today is Grant's last day at preschool. I think I'm more emotional about that than I am about his first day at kindergarten. He's been at this daycare/preschool for 4 1/2 of his 5 years and they've done so much for all of us in so many ways. To say thanks one last time, I baked some brownie bars for the teachers/staff and Grant wrote them a little note. I know he's really going to miss it there and we will too!
On the left is a picture of him "playing outside" and a flower on the right
Twix Truffle Brownies!
Happy Friday everyone!
Have a great weekend!
The Diary of a Real Housewife

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Kiwi Crate - June 2015 "Backyard Adventure"

So, initially this Kiwi Crate box was a bit of a let-down for me. I felt like the name was a bit misleading. I see the name of the box when it ships, so when I saw "Backyard Adventure" it led me to believe that we'd, stuff outside. Or at least end up there. This was not the case (though technically one activity could be done outside). 

That being said, Grant had a lot of fun with this box. One activity was a growth chart (he loves to have us measure him so he can see how big he is) and the other was backyard golf (which could be played outside if you have a good spot for it - we don't, so it stays inside). I let Grant choose which to do first and the golf game won.

All the pieces included and the detailed instructions.
For this one you make little bugs and flowers from the pipe cleaners, felt pieces, and googly eyes.

I couldn't resist the urge to make some too!
Then you weave the pipe cleaners through the little holes on the golf arches.

Then you add the bottoms to the arches and assemble your stick.

And since they included a ball in the box - it's time to play!

This past weekend, we did the growth chart. A growth chart is something I never bought for Grant. I've always measured him in the doorway of his room and made marks, so this activity was fun and came in handy :)
Everything you need including a ribbon for hanging.
There were three sheets leaf of stickers, some rubbing crayons, and a plastic texture sheet. You put the crayon sheets over the plastic texture sheet and rub the crayons over the stickers and the texture plate makes them have lines like real leaves (they actually designed it so the right leaf would have the right patter (oak leaf, maple leaf, dogwood leaf). I thought that was very interesting and well thought out!

Grant had a hard time keeping the stickers on the plastic while he colored, so helped him hold it quite a bit (and, yes, I colored too). But we got it worked out.

After the stickers are all colored, you just add them to the branches on the growth chart.
He filled up the top and all the little branches along the tree, so
since he loves jumping in leaf piles so much, he put some on the ground too.
Then you just pick a spot and hang it!
I hung ours a foot off the floor.
There was also a fun little bingo game in the booklet that comes in the box. We haven't done that yet but definitely will soon.

We already have our July box, that came earlier this week. It's called "Interesting Insects" and I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

I was really skeptical about getting (and keeping) this subscription. I think I said in my last Kiwi Crate post that $20 per month is a lot, to me, for a craft box. But so far, I'm really impressed with it. They really do include everything for you. With school starting in just over a week I'm not sure how much time we'll have for these so I may have to put the subscription on hold (I love that you can do that). But so far, we've both enjoyed what they've sent us and I think I look forward to the box showing up just as much as Grant does!
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